by Father Jamin Scott David

Suffering is real, even for those who are called by God. The prophets, the disciples, and the early Christians often paid a price for responding to the call. We may understand this more readily in times of persecution or political unrest or observe it in other faith traditions. Even choosing to live a Gospel life may overwhelm us. Despite the paralyzing feeling of fear, Jesus often said: “Don’t be afraid.”

Boy does time fly by! On July 2, I will complete my eleventh and final year as Pastor of St. Margaret. It hardly seems that long ago that I moved to the parish, but many great things have happened thanks to your work and diligence! We have laughed together; we have ministered to each other; we have bared each other’s burdens and provided for each other’s needs. Transition is tough, but you all have been very helpful so far in the midst of all of this, and I am grateful for your outpouring of support! Even in the midst of these changes, you and I have nothing to fear!

We are in the depths of Mission Krewe this week, and young people from St. Margaret are with me and our adult volunteers and our friends from three parishes in the Archdiocese of Portland led by Fr. Michael Vuky. Fr. Chis Palladino from Boston, a dear friend, is also accompanying us in a “supervisory role” to entertain himself with our Mission Krewe shenanigans! Take a moment to pray for the young people participating from our parish and to thank them for helping to rebuild the lives and homes of the people of Oregon. Talk about a fearless group of young men and women! There is surely much to look forward to as the future of our Church is very bright!

Also, we welcome this weekend a priest from the Diocese of Tororo in Uganda who will be presenting for his annual mission appeal, asking your generous assistance in his mission to the people of his native land.

We also wrap up another fiscal year in just a couple of weeks. I’ll be publishing another report outlining your generous stewardship. Thank you for your generosity! Your stewardship will soon make modifications at St. Thomas a reality in order to preserve the building. Looking further and forward, we can use some more concrete, especially en route to the cemetery; the Parish Hall is okay — for now — but it will need some fixing in the future, and if we keep growing at the rate that we are, we’re going to quickly outgrow the Church. As I think about eleven years, whoever thought these would be our happy problems and challenges that we face?!

But that’s the message of the Gospel, isn’t it? Just when we begin to consume ourselves with what we really cannot control, God gives us a firm reminder of his presence, helping us to realize that we’re more precious to him than we can ever imagine. Do you believe that you’re worth more than even a few sparrows?

~Fr. Jamin